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Knight's Quest III: Tides of Merania

Reviewed by  Wendy Mann


Introduction

Knight's Quest III: Tides of Merania is a very enjoyable and intelligently designed game that is downloadable FOR FREE, as are many other games, at the Adventure Games Studio Website (see link below this review).  It is an AGS game, i.e. written using the Adventure Game Studio development engine.

Like Knight’s Quest IV, Knight's Quest III is a point-and-click adventure game written in the style of Sierra’s famous King's Quest series.  It is a much longer game than Knight’s Quest IV, which was actually designed and released before Knight's Quest III.  The controls are typical simple Sierra point-and-click controls (see Interface section below).  You can install it directly in Windows XP (I do not have Vista, so I could not try that out).  You do NOT use DOSBox.

This game is medium length, but it is plenty long enough to provide a very enjoyable gaming experience.  There is a walkthrough available at the bottom of this review, but try to play it without the walkthrough unless you get really stuck, otherwise it will definitely spoil the fun.

It is a very enjoyable game with an interesting storyline and, once the introduction is over, you have control of 3 different characters, each with his own mini quests and each located in a different part of the game’s world.  The game relies a lot on the logic involved in figuring out who needs what item, and who can find it for that character.

The puzzles themselves are very logical, and there are hints/pointers for virtually everything so that normally one should not get stuck for too long.  Nowhere did I find the clues, puzzles and interactions illogical.  As in most point-and-click games, you find items, talk to people and perform inventory based puzzles, etc.  But in this game you also pass items between characters, as stated above.  The game has a maximum score of 160 points.

The quality of the game is very good for a medium length, non-commercial game, and I can happily recommend it to any point-and-click adventure game fan, especially to King's Quest fans.  The game holds one’s attention very well and has an interesting story, and it packs a lot of enjoyment into the story and puzzles.  I personally enjoyed it and will definitely play it again sometime.  I also enjoyed the sense of humor and the quips.  There is no blood or overt violence in the game, but there are some instances of mild language and sexual references. 

Story

The King and two Knights each have to find a Pentagram in order to save the world from an evil force (of course!).  You switch between the 3 characters, each in their own part of the game world.  The ending is a bit abrupt and inconclusive (sort of " to be continued..."), but I enjoyed it despite that.  The story is in fact quite interesting, and includes several characters who give you useful information that carries the story along, as well as clues about what to do or where to go next.  Or they may possess items that you want, and you have to go on sub-quests to find other items to barter for those wanted items.

DOSBox NOT needed

DOSBox is not needed for this game.  It runs automatically within the AGS engine that is included invisibly in the downloaded game.

Interface

As in Knight’s Quest IV, Knight's Quest III is a 3rd person, 2D, point-and-click adventure, with the screen divided into a playing area with a menu bar at top of screen that is only visible when you take your cursor to the top of the screen.  The view of the playing area is from the side.

All actions are controlled by the mouse or by action icons click able in the menu bar.  They are typical Sierra point-and-click controls, and so are very simple and easy to use.  Take your mouse to the top of the screen and the menu bar appears.  It consists of action icons, inventory, and options (save/load/quit/score, etc).  Use the one mouse button to click through the action icons on your cursor, and when you have the required cursor icon, click the other mouse button at the required spot on the screen (to walk, look, talk, etc).

The game is fairly linear...  that is, a new destination or section will only open up when you have triggered the relevant destination/section by finding something or talking to someone that 'logically' leads you to that destination.  Of course you can wander about and explore freely within any given area.

Use F1 to switch to another character.  To give an item to another character, find the telephone box in your current character’s game area, take the item out of inventory and click it on the telephone box, and in the screen that comes up, select the character to whom you want to give the item.  It will go into their inventory.  Each character’s inventory holds all the items needed, so one does not run out of space in inventory.  But there are only 20 saved game slots, so you will need to replace/overwrite the old ones when you get to more than 20 saves.

Graphics, Music, Sound Effects

The graphics are quite good.  The colors are nice and effective and the scenes are nicely illustrated, although not quite up to commercial quality of course.

The music is fairly primitive.  It occasionally changes according to the area that you are in, but is fairly unobtrusive.  I did not notice any sound effects.  Speech is non-existent and everything is conveyed via text boxes.  But that is to be expected given that it is a simple AGS game, and lack of speech does not detract from the game.

Puzzles and Gameplay

The puzzles are typical of a point-and-click adventure game.  Some of them however will require quite good reasoning.

The puzzles consist mainly of:

The challenge level / difficulty ranges from easy to medium.  There are no difficult challenges.

Longevity...  The game is medium-to-shortish in length.  There are quite a few enjoyable features and interesting conversations, and the interaction of passing objects to another character makes it even more interesting, so it keeps your attention very well.  However you would still probably only want to play it once or twice.

 

Bugs / Hiccups

I found no bugs or problems.

Conclusion

I personally recommend this game highly.  The game is good fun, the conversations are interesting, the game is cleverly designed, the puzzles and connections are very logical, and it is very satisfying to play, especially when you solve a fairly tricky puzzle.  I found it engrossing enough to keep drawing me back for "just another half hour" (which ended up being much longer than that each time).

Knight's Quest III is an interesting and attention holding AGS game.

P.S. There are no Knight's Quest 1 and 2 games, and Knight's Quest III was written after Knight's Quest IVKnight's Quest IV is a much shorter game, but nevertheless it is also recommended.

©  May 2008  Wendy Mann



Full View Screenshot


Developed (2005) by  Subliminal Messenger (The Frequentor) and Vacation Studios.


Not Rated:   (mild language, a few sexual references)


Minimum System Requirements:  Windows


Where To Download This Free Game:


Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!


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